Arkansas Healthcare

Leslie Rutledge attorney general
oversight.house.gov/

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge says federal law won't allow Arkansas to limit the number of people who are enrolled in the state's hybrid Medicaid expansion.

Rutledge told state Human Services Director Cindy Gillespie in an advisory opinion issued Monday that she didn't believe federal law would allow the state to put such limits on the program, which uses federal funds to purchase private insurance for the poor. Lawmakers earlier this year approved a plan to continue the program, which was created as an alternative to expanding Medicaid under the federal health law.

Arkansas is one of 16 states where physician practices will participate in a Medicare payment model reimbursing physicians for providing comprehensive, coordinated patient care.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced Monday that beginning January 2017, the five-year Comprehensive Primary Care Plus model reimburses physicians for providing primary care and focuses on access and continuity, comprehensive and coordinated care management, patient and caregiver engagement, and planned care and population health.

The Arkansas Department of Health and Louisville, Kentucky-based Kindred Healthcare Inc. have announced the completion of the sale of the department's in-home health care operations for $39 million.

The finalized sale was announced Monday.

The state announced last August it was phasing out the program that provides in-home services to about 3,380 people.

Ted Suhl
Nelson Chenault / Arkansas Times

A federal jury convicted a north Arkansas man who owned several mental health facilities on bribery charges late Thursday afternoon. The Arkansas Times reports that after almost five hours of deliberations, Ted Suhl was found guilty of four of six counts for allegedly funneling money to a top official at the Arkansas Department of Human Services in exchange for getting preferential treatment from the state.

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Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansans may have the chance to vote on two medical marijuana initiatives in November. What happens if both pass? The one with the most votes wins, probably. Talk Business and Politics reports.

Virginia Guard Public Affairs / flickr.com

Increased drug costs have caused the state’s five-year match for Arkansas Works to rise from $705 million to $730 million, legislators were told by a consultant Monday.

The Stephen Group told the Health Reform Legislative Task Force that the waiver the state is seeking from the federal Department of Health and Human Services includes a state match that has risen by $25.4 million. The total estimated cost of the program has increased from $9.04 billion to $9.35 billion from the initial waiver request. Most will be funded by the federal government.

marijuana
npr.org

Backers of an effort to limit damages awarded in lawsuits against health care providers, a group proposing casinos in three Arkansas counties, and a group behind a second medical marijuana proposal have all turned in signatures in efforts to try and get their proposals on the Arkansas ballot.

The measures needed at least 84,859 signatures from registered voters to qualify for the November ballot. Friday was the deadline for proposals to turn in petitions for ballot measures.

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Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas voters will again consider a medical marijuana proposal in November. After dropping off box loads of petition signatures at the Secretary of State's office a couple of weeks ago, members of the group Arkansans for Compassionate Care say they got word Thursday that enough were valid.

"We did get official news that we are certified for the ballot with 77,516 valid signatures which is nearly 10,000 over the required number. It's absolutely fabulous," said Campaign Director Melissa Fults.

David M. Clark Center for safe and healthy children at arkansas children's hospital
Arkansas Children's Hospital

The Clark Family Foundation is donating $2.5 million to Arkansas Children's Hospital to "support programs and services for abused and neglected children," including the David M. Clark Center for Safe and Healthy Children.

Medical Marijuana
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The final results from the latest Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College Poll indicate strong support among Arkansas voters for medical marijuana. 

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